Monday, February 4, 2013

Cochlear Implant Feature on The Doctors

Today I learned The Doctors show will be featuring a piece on cochlear implants this Thursday, February 7th.  According to the promo, a recipient by the name of  Dawn K. is supposed to "hear again for the first time in a long while." Dawn's story is part of the show's "Feel Good February," featuring inspirational patients who against all odds experience miracles.  The show airs at different times of day depending on your local area.

Here is the promo for The Doctors where viewers can see a preview of Dawn K.:

From what I understand, Dawn has been implanted with a Nucleus Cochlear Implant made by Cochlear-- the same model I have.  In the video, viewers see Dawn's little boy behind her, cutely asking if "she can hear him," and like magic, she understands what he says.

Sigh.  WHY was that not MY story?

I'm not suggesting that the amazing Youtube videos of CI recipients are phony, but I AM suggesting that it is not the truth for everyone going through this process.  Unfortunately, because of my experience, my skepticism has increased when I view these videos I once found so inspirational.

Remember this one?  Pretty tattooed Sarah?

This was the first video that moved me enough to leave a comment on YouTube, and it obviously hit an emotional chord with millions, becoming a viral sensation and sending Sarah to visit Ellen DeGeneres.  (Hi Ellen!  I like you too!)

Anyway, I remember sobbing watching this video, my heart filled with hope that one day soon, I would be Sarah.  And I was SO happy for her.  Then I recall feeling appalled by some of the nasty comments, suggesting the poor deaf woman was "faking it," and that she was "really crying because of how terrible the world sounded-- just a bunch of beeps and whistles."   In response I left a comment of encouragement for this woman because regardless of what truthfully happened for her,  I know I wanted the miracle to be real.  (Sarah's implant is different than mine, by the way. Her device is the Esteem Hearing Implant by Envoy Medical.)

Somewhere out there, I bet someone is considering cochlear implant surgery and hoping that like Dawn and Sarah, s/he will have the experience of being hooked up to a computer and just like that, have NORMAL HEARING.  I wonder if the person is like me, ignoring the negative comments because it's just so much better to hope they're not true.

If you're preparing for surgery, I hope you get your YouTube moment.  I really do.

But be prepared: You might not.

It might be a long journey-- weeks, months, I hate to say it, but even years.   I promise you, as you strive to hear, you'll probably find yourself LISTENING not just to sounds, but to your spirit.   And if this happens, I bet you'll find clarity in your journey, probably in more ways than you can ever imagine.


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